In May it was completed two years of the adoption of the new Forest Code, a law that sets minimum standards of environmental conservation for 72% of Brazilian territory.
With the central aim of the amnesty to deforestation carried out by July 2008, the new law resulted in dispensing the environmental recovery of at least 29 million hectares that should have been protected by the earlier law, as pointed a study published by “Science” magazine. Larger than the state of São Paulo, this area is mostly occupied (80%) by low productivity pastures.
The new law, however, came with the promise that would promote “greater forest restoration program in the world”, as there are still at least 38 million hectares of environmentally important areas to be restored throughout the country. Therefore, predicted the creation of Environmental Adjustment Programs (PRAs) and the establishment of a Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), which should be an X-ray of the environmental situation of the more than 5 million rural properties in the country, and the base to begin as announced restoration.
Finally, at the beginning of May, they were published Decree No. 8235 and No. normative instruction. 2/2014, which defined the operation of the PRA and the CAR. What should be cause for celebration, however, he ended up having a bitter taste.
Strikes the eye that no other policy to support environmental compliance, in addition to CAR, which is a mere instrument, was structured. The package does not bring any new measure to encourage or support the restoration. If there is, by the federal government and the states, a structured plan, with targets and budget available to provide technical assistance and financial support to producers, as well as economic incentives to restore forests, hardly move forward. Imagine that the mere registration will be enough is at least naive.
Moreover, the very quality of the information in the CAR to enforce the federal rule is questionable. He won the thesis that the CAR is “declaratory”. It means that the producer will make your registration without the support of a specialist and without making a field survey. As the law is complex to understand and apply, and not all farmers are actually willing to restore part of the felled forests, one can already foresee a variety of problems in information is registered only be perceived years later.
This will greatly increase the burden of environmental agencies of the States, which will have to analyze and validate (or not) each of the millions of entries. According to research from the Center’s Forest Code, none of the states has or intends to dedicated technical hires exclusively to this analysis. On the floor of the carriage, it will take decades before significant proportion of entries has quality information. And the CAR hardly become a tool to support environmental management.
still worries the unwillingness of most state governments on the issue. Among the promises that accompanied the new law was that it would offer a “national floor” for the protection / restoration of forests, which should be complemented by state rules. São Paulo, for example, which has 13 of its 20 river basins with less than 10% forest cover and who suffers from one of the most acute problems of water shortage in its history, should propose innovative ways to induce the agricultural sector to recover part of forests on banks of rivers and groundwater recharge areas, to achieve at least 25% of native vegetation in their bowls, as shown by various scientific studies.
However, being processed in the state Legislative Assembly No. bill. 219/14, which not only adopts the same low level as the federal rule further decreases the protection of their few areas of cerrado. There is no innovation to promote more protection and no eye on the peculiarities of the state territory. The project disregards the river basin committees and studies of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) on priority areas for forest restoration. In the region of Cantareira, strategic area of public water supply for millions of São Paulo, only 21% remaining forests. The riverbanks have 37% of pastures and the bill ignores the situation. The trainer State of opinion should give a better signal to the country.
RAUL SILVA Telles THE VALLE , lawyer, is public policy deputy coordinator of the Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA)
ANDRÉ LIMA , lawyer, a consultant in public policy at the Environmental Research Institute of Amazonia (IPAM)
LUIS FERNANDO Guedes Pinto , an agronomist and doctor in agronomy from USP, is certification manager of the Institute of Agricultural Management and Forest certification (Imaflora) and member of the Network of Social Entrepreneurs Leaf
ISA, IPAM and Imaflora are members of the Forest Code Observatory